Thursday, April 18, 2024
Home > City News > 16 pointed star shaped Air Cooled Mantapa – A 13th Century Hoysala Ishvara Temple at Arsikere

16 pointed star shaped Air Cooled Mantapa – A 13th Century Hoysala Ishvara Temple at Arsikere

120 Sculpted IdolsLord Shiva Temple at Arsikere, a single star shaped modest size, east facing Hoysala Temple stands in all it’s complex architectural glory from 1220 AD. It’s one of the few surviving Hoysala Temple left to view it’s beautiful glory… escaping the onslaught of Muslim invaders. This beautiful Dravidian Style Architecture Hoysala Temple was built by Veera Ballala II.
This stone Temple of Lord Shiva is totally stone carved and stone built by Steatite or popularly known as ‘slate stone’. Apart from the main deity structure of Lord Shiva in his phalic form is a modest size ‘linga’ occupying a prominent place facing his travel companion the bull, ‘Nandi’.
This main shrine is sandwiched between two beautiful mantapas. One is rectangle and the other a 16 star shaped mantap facing the main shrine! The rectangular mantap has two shrines, one of Lord Shiva and Lord Ganesha. The star shaped mantap has a intricately carved inner stone dome, supported by lathe turned pillars, a Hoysala art speciality, which supports the 9 bay windows with criss-cross stone benches. It’s surprising, this stone mantapa remains cool even on a hot summer day to the relief of the visiting pilgrims and tourists.
The temple inside and the outer walls are beautifully carved and rack stacked with Hindu mythology idols of God’s & Nymphs with nature inspired objects like plants, flowers and strong animals which were useful to mankind.
There’s a single man, an ASI – Archeological Society of India representative Samme Gowda who doubles as a passionate guide who explains the glory and the history of this edifice. The main shrine has a towering gopura with a beautiful kalash – a pot of wealth and prosperity occupying the apex point. The temple has a spacious well maintained manicured garden. This temple in situated enroute to another Lord Vishnu Temple called ‘Malekal Tirupathi Temple’ on a hillock of 1200 high rock cut steps. The base of the hill also has a Govindraju Temple.
Arsikere is well connected by road and rail. It’s a three hour drive of 200 Kms from Bangalore. Please carry cash and your picnic basket. The only restaurants available are highway restaurants. Roads are confusing. Ask the local people for directions. The roads are good, it’s better to have your own transport – car or a two wheeler. It’s a day trip venture excrusion. This place all around have a lot of tourist temple destinations.
-Jagdeesh Laxman Singh
aka Jugie Singh

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